If you are visiting New York City as a tourist, you should try your best to stay on the Island of Manhattan.  Although New York City has public transportation 24 hours, 7 days a week, you will enjoy your stay in New York City more if you stay in Manhattan.  Don’t make the mistake of booking a hotel in New Jersey if you need to be in New York City every day from your hotel.  Oddly, you will often find cheaper nightly rates for hotels in Manhattan vs Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens, or Staten Island. Public restrooms are not widely available.  You will often need to go into a restaurant like McDonalds for example and are required to make a purchase to use the restroom.

Google Maps is a very good app that will give you directions and save you time and money in New York City. Unlike London, Paris, Madrid…You can attend an event at any time in Times Square or other areas of Manhattan and take a train to Brooklyn, Bronx, and Queens 24 hours a day 7 days a week.  However, good luck finding a public restroom if you had one too many beers while commuting.

The best areas to stay are near the major train stations and landmarks.  Use Time Square to Madison Square Garden as a reference point.  Read the Google and TripAdvisor reviews from recent guests for the hotel you chose before booking.  If you Google walking directions between Madison Square Garden and Times Square, you will see the walking distance is only 10 minutes even though they are many blocks apart.  That is because Manhattan blocks are relatively short.  You can stay even downtown Manhattan or uptown Manhattan.  The train directions are listed this way as well at the train stations.  It is very difficult to get lost walking in Manhattan since the streets and avenue names are mainly numbers.  Since your target destination for most tourist events will be out of Manhattan, if you must stay outside of the borough of Manhattan, stay in a hotel near a Train line.  Downtown Brooklyn hotels are a good second choice. Staying at an airport hotel near JFK or LGA airport is relatively far from Manhattan by driving or public transportation.    When booking your hotels, you can see the nearest train station to your hotel on Google Maps.

Getting around? Driving, Train, Bus, Taxi, LYFT, UBER.

You should avoid driving in New York City if you are not accustomed to driving in congested cities with limited space for cars to drive and park, always under construction and aggressive drivers.  It’s easy to accidentally get on the wrong road or enter a toll road you didn’t plan on entering.  If you are renting a car, make sure to get LDW (lost damage waiver) car insurance that is provided by the rental company if you don’t have other full coverage that covers the rental car.  No tourist attraction is drive in and park your car friendly in New York City.  New York City is mainly a pedestrian city, and you cannot make a right turn on a red light in most of the city.  Parking rules are mostly enforced.  There are signs all over the city for street cleaning rules where no cars can be parked so pay attention to the date and times for the signs.

The Trains and buses of MTA are your best transportation option and the cheapest mode of transportation.  The Taxi rate and UBER/LYFT from New York City Airport to your hotel in Manhattan is over $70.  Since NYC Taxi’s offer a flat rate, it maybe be faster, more convenient, and cheaper to take a readily available Taxi from the airport to your hotel. For MTA (trains and buses) most recent and accurate information, Google MTA NYC and you can find the official link for the latest information.  Google where to buy a MetroCard as well.   It is very easy to buy your MetroCard at the train stations.

Using Google Maps is the quickest way to get directions from the time you arrive at any of the three New York City Metro airports. New York City Yellow Taxi are a lot more readily available in Manhattan.